I am a Senior Lecturer in the department of Linguistics and English Language, School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I received my PhD from the University of Tromsø, following a specialist degree at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Moscow State University. Previously I was Lecturer in Language and Linguistics at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. I came to Edinburgh in 2013 as Lecturer in Theoretical Phonology.
I am a phonologist whose primary areas of interest concern the nature of phonological features and the division of labour in phonological theory. Recently I have also been working on the interaction between segmental and suprasegmental phonology, particularly on the proper analysis of so-called ‘pitch accent’ systems. My other interests are morphology-phonology interaction (in particular stratal/cyclic models), historical phonology, and historical language contact. In particular, I am interested in the interesting phonological commonalities among the languages of north-western Europe, such as preaspiration, ‘pitch accent’ systems, sonorant pre-occlusion etc. Read more about this project here; a monograph on the subject is currently under contract to Cambridge University Press.
At Edinburgh, I am affiliated to the Phonetics and Phonology, Language Variation and Change, and English Language research groups. I am also an affiliate of the Angus McIntosh Centre for Historical Linguistics.
Most of my work is on Celtic languages — particularly Welsh and Irish, and more recently also Scottish Gaelic (chan eil ach beagan Gàidhlig agam an-dràsta). My PhD thesis provides a comparison of selected aspects of the phonology of two Brythonic Celtic varieties, and a book based on parts of it was published with Edinburgh University Press (read more here). My other particular interest is in Germanic — particularly North Germanic — languages. I have also worked on Slavic and Romance varieties.
My overview paper on length and quantity in the Romance languages (with Leo Wetzels) has appeared in a Manual of Romance phonetics and phonology, edited by Christoph Gabriel, Randall Gess and Trudel Meisenburg.
My keynote presentation at the 19. møte om norsk språk conference in Tromsø on the application of the life cycle model of phonological change to some data from Norwegian (and Western Nordic more generally) has been postponed to 2022. I will, however, present some of this material in a poster presentation at the 5th Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology.
I presented (with David Wheatley) a talk on the acoustics of ‘fortis’ and ‘lenis’ in Donegal Irish as documented in the Doegen recordings archive at the 13th Conference of the Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster. We will also present this talk at the Tionól 2021 at the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Study.
My paper on the phonology of Gaelic tonal accent has appeared in the proceedings volume from Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 10.
I am on research leave in 2021⁄2022, and am not teaching any courses in this session.
I presented a talk entitled Phonological convergence in north-western Europe: language contact or drift? at the 12th International Conference of Nordic and General Linguistics organized by the University of Oslo.